Many adults do not get the nutrition they need while living at home, even when their medical condition requires a specialized diet. Often adults living alone rely on prepared foods or frozen meals that contain too much salt and/or other undesirable ingredients.
Meal planning and preparation services for the elderly encourage seniors to eat well-balanced meals at home, and it is one of the most important things to keep them healthy. A dedicated caregiver can help prepare foods, follow healthy guidelines, and ensure nutritious, balanced meals at home.
The Effects of Unhealthy Eating at Home
Understanding that unhealthy eating habits can contribute to weight gain, sleep problems, cognitive decline, and a variety of other physical and mental health concerns is often the first step in the process of getting help for your loved ones. The effects of unhealthy eating at home for seniors can lead to:
- Poor brain function
- Weight gain
- Sleep loss
- Mood problems
Poor Brain Function
Our brains need nutritious “fuel” to maintain peak performance. As seniors age and develop unhealthy eating habits, they may not be getting the nutrients they need for proper brain function. As a result, your loved one may not be able to think clearly. They may become easily confused or develop a mood disorder, like depression or irritability.
Weight gain can be a sign of inactivity, poor eating choices, or of a medical or psychological condition. Diabetes is linked to obesity and connected to the function of the pancreas, liver, kidney, and heart. Eating healthy and physical activity are two principal ways to combat potential diabetes.
Weight gain is one of the most common effects of unhealthy eating. If your elderly loved one is overweight, they are at increased risk of type-2 diabetes and heart disease. What’s more, being overweight can limit mobility and lead to falls.
One’s diet can affect a person’s circadian rhythm and can negatively impact sleep patterns. Not only what one eats, but when one eats must be taken into consideration. A lack of nutritious meals can affect a senior’s circadian rhythm and disturb healthy sleep patterns. Keep in mind that it’s important to know not only what your loved one is eating, but also when. Skipping meals or eating right before bedtime can disrupt a good night’s sleep.
Malnutrition impacts brain function and can lead to mood disorders, such as depression and irritability. LivHOME’s senior caregivers can help with elderly meal planning and preparation to ensure your elderly loved one maintains a healthy, nutritious diet.
Senior Meal Services by LivHOME
LivHOME will work with you to determine which senior meal plans and in-home meal services would be most beneficial. This initial assessment will include questions like: What and when does your loved one like to eat? Are they restricted from eating certain foods? Do they usually eat alone? Your answers will help us to determine the amount of caregiving services required.
Your caregiving plan may include meal planning for seniors, grocery shopping, meal preparation, assistance with feeding, or whatever else is required to ensure your loved one is eating a healthy and balanced diet at home. Our caregivers can assist with:
- Meal planning
- Meal preparation
- Feeding services
Meal planning for the elderly can be quite challenging, and there are many benefits to planning meals in advance with the help of a caregiver. For example, a caregiver can start the meal planning process by helping your elderly loved one dispose of outdated food. Then, the two of them can prepare a grocery list and do the grocery shopping.
When meals are planned and prepped by your care team, your loved one will eat healthier, more nutritious and well-balanced meals. They will also better manage their grocery shopping, saving time—and money.
Meal preparation services ensure your elderly loved one eats healthy, well-balanced meals at home. A caregiver can prepare healthy meals for the day or the week, paying special attention to any dietary restrictions. These healthy prepared meals will improve your loved one’s well-being and bring you the peace of mind that comes from knowing they’re eating well.
Seniors or dependent adults who have Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or other disabling conditions may need assistance with eating. Caregivers are trained to provide feeding services, and they can help with cutting up food, handling utensils, and companionship while eating.